- Date : 11/12/2017
- Read: 5 mins
It’s time you take control of things to ensure that you retire comfortably.
Women form a considerable part of the 34% Indians who depend on their spouse for retirement, found the Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2016. If you are one these women, it is time you reconsider your future plans. While your spouse and children would financially support you if you needed it, you would probably not want to add an additional burden on their finances. And, you wouldn't even have to, if you plan your retirement well. Making this a long-term goal will ensure you are not left in an unsatisfactory financial situation even when you aren't earning anymore.
Here are a few things to consider when planning your retirement:
1. You’ll live longer
A report from World Health Organisation (WHO), pegs life expectancy in India for men at 66.9 and for women at 69.9. So, if your partner passes away before you do, you could lose your only financial support, making it difficult to sustain yourself. This means having a rock-solid retirement plan is essential if you want to continue living a comfortable lifestyle.
Given the fact that you will live longer, it is imperative that you start thinking of your retirement, invest in suitable instruments, get a life and health insurance plan for yourself that could help you build adequate wealth for a later period.
2. Start early
Most women in India tend to work for lesser years as compared to their counterparts in the West. A lot of them quit their jobs or opt for less time-consuming jobs to look after their homes, children, and family. This is why you should not assume that you have enough time on your hands to start saving for your retirement at a later date.
Ideally, you must put away money towards your retirement fund as soon as you receive your first salary. The trick is to start small and gradually increase your savings as your financial capabilities increase.
The biggest advantage of starting early is the power of compounding. It helps your money grow at a fast rate, based on the interest you get from your investment. Therefore, by the time you retire, you will have accumulated sufficient wealth to look after yourself, eliminating the need to rely on someone else.
Another reason to start saving early for retirement is- inflation. As inflation increases with time, your purchasing power decreases. By starting your retirement fund early, you can ease the pressure that inflation will put on your savings once you have retired and are no longer receiving a monthly income. This way you will still be able to live comfortably after retirement.
3. Insurance first
India, as a country, is grossly under-insured. Over 80% of Indians do not have basic life insurance cover and 95% of Indians are ill-prepared to tackle a health crisis.
Not being properly insured can cost you later in life. Healthcare costs are said to be increasing by 15-18%, annually. That means that falling ill, in the future, could drill a hole in your pocket. Therefore, getting a health insurance plan can help you avoid this kind of financial setback.
Many insurers offer specific healthcare products for women. A good healthcare plan can help you tide over the exorbitant medical expenses that could form a part of your later years.
4. Think beyond the traditional
Women have generally been good savers, but poor investors. And, when they invest, they have traditionally put their money in safer investment instruments such as fixed deposits (FDs) and gold.
- If you have time on your side, consider investing in equities for a long period. This can help you create a large corpus by the time you retire. Keeping your money in equities for a longer duration could considerably reduce risk. Stock prices may fluctuate wildly over a shorter period, but the returns earned on them are far more stable in the long-term.
- Consider using mutual funds to invest in equities, if you do not know a lot about equities. These investments are less risky than investing directly in stocks and bonds and have grown by 14.9% over the last 35 years.
- You can also use the systematic investment plan (SIP), which allows you to begin investing with as little as Rs. 500 each month.
5. Safe investment options
If you prefer investment instruments that carry low risk, pension plans like National Pension Scheme, pension funds etc. are more suited for you. Pension plans are provided by both, insurance and mutual fund companies. In case of NPS, you can invest a minimum annual amount of Rs. 6000 (Tier-I) and Rs. 2000 (Tier-II). It allows you to invest in three kinds of assets- equity, corporate bond funds and government securities. These pension schemes ensure that you have a consistent income during your retirement.
In conclusion, gender equality is not only about how the world treats you. It is also about a woman taking control of her life, and there is no better way to start than by taking control of your retirement plan right now.